Child Pain, Migraine, and Invisible Disability: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Child Pain, Migraine, and Invisible Disability

1st Edition

By Susan Honeyman


208 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

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In the twenty-first century there is increasing global recognition of pain relief as a basic human right. However, as Susan Honeyman argues in this new take on child pain and invisible disability, such a belief has historically been driven by adult, ideological needs, whereas the needs of children in pain have traditionally been marginalised or overlooked in comparison.

Examining migraines in children and the socially disabling effects that chronic pain can have, this book uses medical, political and cultural discourse to convey a sense of invisible disability in children with migraine and its subsequent oppression within educational and medical policy. The book is supported by authentic migraineurs’ experiences and first-hand interviews as well as testimonials from a range of historical, literary, and medical sources never combined in a child-centred context before. Representations of child pain and lifespan migraine within literature, art and popular culture are also pulled together in order to provide an interdisciplinary guide to those wanting to understand migraine in children and the identity politics of disability more fully.

Child Pain, Migraine, and Invisible Disability will appeal to scholars in childhood studies, children’s rights, literary and visual culture, disability studies and medical humanities. It will also be of interest to anyone who has suffered from migraines or has cared for children affected by chronic pain.


'The Western contemporary ethos confers innocence and nostalgia on childhood, a tendency that too often belittles, denies or oversimplifies the suffering that real children experience. Young sufferers from migraine are consummate examples of this dilemma, as Susan Honeyman documents well in Child Pain, Migraine and Invisible Disability. Health care providers, who generally ask children to report pain using a reductionist single answer on a pain scale, would do well to consider Honeyman’s complex, humane account (including first-person narratives).'Cindy Dell Clark, Rutgers University, U.S.A

Table of Contents

List of Figures

Preface: a Note to Readers



  1. Migraine as Invisible Disability
  2. A History of Pediatric Pain and the Politics of Pill Culture
  3. Materia Medica
  4. Testifying Against Trigemony
  5. Visibility Machines and Pain Proxies


Afterword: Scars (a Migraine Diary)




About the Author

Susan E. Honeyman is Professor of English at University of Nebraska at Kearney, USA.

About the Series

Interdisciplinary Disability Studies

Disability studies has made great strides in exploring power and the body. This series extends the interdisciplinary dialogue between disability studies and other fields by asking how disability studies can influence a particular field. It will show how a deep engagement with disability studies changes our understanding of the following fields: sociology, literary studies, gender studies, bioethics, social work, law, education, or history. This ground-breaking series identifies both the practical and theoretical implications of such an interdisciplinary dialogue and challenges people in disability studies as well as other disciplinary fields to critically reflect on their professional praxis in terms of theory, practice, and methods.

Series editor: Mark Sherry, The University of Toledo, USA

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Children's Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Disease & Health Issues